Sprott Shaw College’s parent company CIBT Education Group Inc. (TSX: MBA, OTCQX International: MBAIF) (“CIBT” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WestStone Group, a leading real estate development company in Western Canada, to construct the GEC Education Mega Center in Surrey, B.C. The project is expected to cost approximately $220 million. The parties plan on finalizing the formal Purchase and Sale Agreement on or before October 31, 2016, while preparations for the development application are underway.
“WestStone has been actively involved in the build-out of Surrey City Centre for well over a decade now”, stated Brian Regehr, President and CEO of the WestStone Group. “We are proud to be building in this city and watching it evolve into British Columbia’s next great Metro Centre. Quite a while ago the City of Surrey adopted the slogan “The Future Lives Here” and it’s so rewarding to see that becoming a reality as Surrey becomes the preeminent centre of economic growth south of the Fraser. In a few more years, Surrey will overtake Vancouver in terms of its population; the momentum is building now and, through its exciting new developments and infrastructure, a true 21st Century city is emerging. Working with CIBT Education Group, we are delighted to be adding an exceptional educational component to the city centre to complement and enhance those already here”.
Many people within the City of Surrey will be very interested to learn that this proposed Education Mega Centre will be built on the Stardust Roller Rink site in the heart of downtown Surrey. The Stardust is etched in the memories of so many Surrey residents as it first started operating in the 1970s. “I hope that before we take it down, we are able to offer the citizens of Surrey one more chance to have a free skate”, commented Mr. Regehr.
“We are excited to continue our expansion into the education student housing market and are thrilled to be working in conjunction with WestStone Group,” commented Toby Chu, President, CEO and Chairman of CIBT Education Group. “International student enrollment across British Columbia has been growing at an astonishing rate of approximately 25% since 2014 generating over $5 billion in gross income for the province. This is despite the fact that Metro Vancouver not only has some of the most expensive real estates in the country but also vacancy rates of 0.3% in certain parts of the city forcing students to live in expensive buildings that aren’t necessarily in close proximity to their school.”
Mr. Chu further stated, “With WestStone’s extensive experience in developing residential and commercial high-rise buildings, the GEC Education Mega Center will create an opportunity for students from across the province to live in affordable, high-quality student housing that is central to public transit. As well, we intend to aggregate a variety of schools to create satellite locations on our campus benefiting educators and, more importantly, students. This will be advantageous for students in our province and we are very excited to be bringing this opportunity to them. The GEC Education Mega Center will become a significant revenue generator for the Company and add tremendous value to our shareholders. CIBT will earn a structuring fee that it will use to acquire a 20% equity ownership interest in the Mega Center. CIBT may also increase its cash investment in this project in order to capitalize on the future appreciation of the finished project. As we continue to build value and generate net income from this project, we will continue to look for new opportunities that will benefit our investors.”
For more information on the Mega Centre please visit the CIBT web site: http://cibt.net/
For more information on CIBT’s other Student Housing properties visit: http://www.studenthotel.ca/